How Can I Get a General Trading License in Dubai?

24Jan, 22

How Can I Get a General Trading License in Dubai?

Are you an entrepreneur with aspirations to venture into the vibrant business landscape of Dubai? Acquiring a General Trading License in Dubai can be your gateway to various commercial opportunities. As a pivotal hub for global trade and commerce, Dubai is one of the most sought-after locations for beginning a new business because of its high demand for goods, ease of business, and proximity to rising markets. However, you'll need a valid trade license from the Department of Economic Development to get started (DED). A series of rules and processes must be followed to receive this license.

Understanding the General Trading License in Dubai

A General Trading License enables entrepreneurs to conduct various trading activities within the Emirate. This license encompasses trading in multiple goods such as electronics, textiles, food items, machinery, and more, allowing flexibility like your business operations. Any entrepreneur wishing to start a business in Dubai requires a general trading license. A general trade license covers all your trading activities, whether in the same or separate industries. Export, import, and trade of goods or products such as clothing, accessories, furniture, electronics, and other items are among the activities covered by the general trading license in Dubai. A general trade license is required for those who want to perform wholesale business. One of the advantages of obtaining a general trading license is that it allows a company to conduct business within Dubai and the other Emirates. It's vital to remember that some products, such as alcoholic beverages, pharmaceuticals, frozen foods, and so on, are regulated and require special approval from the relevant authorities before they may be traded. A trader can exploit all trading options due to great opportunities in local, national, and international marketplaces.

Entrepreneurs in Dubai have three significant alternatives for starting a business:

  • Mainland

  • Freezones

  • Offshore

A businessperson must pick from which area in Dubai they wish to obtain a trade license. Offshore and free zones both have their benefits and drawbacks.

Key Benefits of a General Trading License in Dubai:

Here are a few advantages of holding a General Trade License in Dubai:

Diverse Business Opportunities

With a General Trading License, you can engage in a broad spectrum of trading activities, maximizing your business prospects.

Global Reach

Dubai's strategic geographical location provides easy access to international markets, facilitating global trade connections.

Investor-Friendly Environment

The Emirate offers a conducive ecosystem for business growth, attracting investors worldwide. Some more Benefits of a General Trading License in Dubai are

  • Provision of local and international trading

  • Auditing is not required.

  • Effortless legal procedure

  • A comprehensive range of banking services is available.

  • Employees have easy access to visas, and there are no currency limits.

  • There is no requirement for fully paid-up capital.

  • 100% capital and profit repatriation

  • Import duties are low.

Steps to Obtain a General Trading License in Dubai:

Below are the outlined procedures for acquiring a General Trading License in Dubai:

Determine the Business Structure

Decide on the appropriate legal structure for your business, whether it's a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or other suitable forms, as per the regulations in Dubai.

Choose a Business Activity

Specify the nature of trading activities your business intends to engage in. The General Trading License covers a broad spectrum of activities, but a clear definition is necessary for licensing purposes.

Select a Trade Name and Register the Company

Choose a unique and compliant trade name for your business. Ensure it adheres to the guidelines set by the Department of Economic Development (DED). Register your company with the DED or the relevant free zone authority.

Prepare Necessary Documents

Gather essential documentation, including passport copies of shareholders, proposed business plan, lease agreement or tenancy contract for business premises, NOC from the landlord, and other relevant paperwork.

Obtain Approvals and Licenses

Submit your application and the required documents to the DED or the chosen free zone authority. Upon approval, you will receive your General Trading License in Dubai.

Comply with Regulatory Requirements

Adhere to all regulatory requirements, including renewing your license annually, maintaining proper accounting records, and complying with tax regulations.

Documents required for obtaining a UAE General Trading License

  • An application for a license is signed by the company's managers or legal representatives.

  • A Memorandum of Association (MoA)

  • DED Passport copy of the managing partners

  • Attested firm name approval letter

The documents will be checked and validated by the Commercial Registry Authority. The company's name will then be registered with the Commercial Registry. The documents will be sent to the Federal Ministry of Economy for publishing by the DED. The government will give its approval letter after publishing the documents, which include the MOA and the application entry of the firm name. After the licensing procedures are completed, the DED issues the initial trade license and commercial registration certificates.

The license is valid for one year after it is obtained. To renew your trade license in Dubai, you must first get approval from the authorities. A copy of the previous license should be submitted with the permission form. The renewal is good for another five years.

General Trading License Cost in Dubai

The cost of obtaining a General Trading License varies based on several factors, such as the chosen business structure, the jurisdiction (DED or free zone), and additional services. Typically, the cost includes license fees, administrative charges, visa fees, and office space expenses. The cost of a Dubai general trading license range starts from AED 30,000* depending on several factors. It can also be used as a legal holding entity within the UAE and other licensing authorities. Storage and warehousing can be done in the same way.


Securing a General Trading License in Dubai opens doors to business opportunities. However, navigating the licensing process can be intricate, necessitating adherence to legal guidelines and thorough preparation. Consulting with business advisors or legal experts familiar with Dubai's business landscape can streamline the process and ensure compliance with regulations. In conclusion, Dubai's General Trading License offers a robust platform for entrepreneurs to thrive in a globally connected market, providing the foundation for a prosperous business journey. We at Dhanguard have advisers who can guide you through obtaining a general trading license in Dubai. Please get in touch with us if you are considering starting a business in Dubai.